Remarks by Vice President Biden in a Meeting with Chinese Vice President XI

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Release Time: 

For Immediate Release

The Great Hall of the People
Beijing, China

10:40 A.M. (Local)
VICE PRESIDENT XI: Honorable, Mr. Vice President, Joseph Biden, the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucious said, isn’t it delightful to welcome friends coming from afar?  I would like to, again, extend a warm welcome to you.
Your visit this time is a major event in this year’s China-U.S. relationship, and it’s very important for further implementing the outcomes of President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, and to pushing forward the building of the China-U.S. cooperative partnership.
Mr. Vice President, you’ve been in China twice.  You’ve long cared about and been committed to promoting the China-U.S. relationship.  Your belief that a successful, stable and prosperous China is good for the United States and, of course, for China and good for the whole world.  I appreciate that statement.
I, too, believe that under the new situation China and the United States have evermore extensive common interests, and we shoulder evermore important common responsibilities.  It is the joint desire of the people of China and the United States and elsewhere in the world to see a close cooperation between China and the United States.  We would like to work with your country to promote the development of relations between our two great nations.
Our talks this morning is an important component of your engagements and activities here.  I would like to have an in-depth exchange of views with you on our bilateral relationship and international and regional issues of mutual interest.  
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Mr. Vice President, and, delegations, it’s a genuine honor to be here.  It’s an honor to be back in China.  As you know, as you mentioned, Mr. Vice President, this is — it’s been 10 years since I’ve been here last.  And my first visit was in 1979 when I had the honor of being with Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping at the time.
I’ve always been an admirer of the Chinese people and the great sweep of history and the contributions that your country has made for centuries.  When I arrived in 1979, I got the first opportunity I ever had to see some of the great wonders of this country, including as all visitors mention, I’m sure, the Great Wall.  But I would presume to suggest that in the great sweep of your history, there has been more progress made between 1979 and 2011 than maybe any time in your history. It’s amazing.  You personally and all your colleagues should be complimented.
I come from the United States, Mr. Vice President, at the invitation of your President and you with hope and expectation and looking forward to your reciprocal visit to Washington.
I also come with a strong message that the United States of America is — plans on looking — will continue to be engaged totally in the world and events of the world; and maybe even a stronger message that our commitment to establish a close and serious relationship with the people of China is of the utmost importance to my country and — presumptuous of me to say — I think maybe your country, as well.
Fifty years from now, 100 years from now, historians and scholars will judge us based upon whether or not we’re able to establish a strong, permanent and friendly working relationship.
For I would suggest that there’s no more important relationship that we need to establish on the part of the United States than a close relationship with China.
As we say in the chamber where I worked for 36 years, the United States Senate, if you permit me a point of personal privilege:  I came away from our visit in Rome greatly impressed — impressed with your sweep and knowledge of history, impressed with your openness and candor and impressed with the notion that you, as I — and I know your ambassador believes — that foreign policy is more than just formal visits; it’s establishing personal relationships and trust.  And it is my fond hope that our personal relationship will continue to grow, as well.
Let me conclude by saying to you and your colleagues, Mr. Vice President, that I’m absolutely confident that the economic stability of the world rests in no small part on the cooperation between — between the United States and China.  It affects every country from your neighbor to the north, to Argentina in the southern tip of South America.  It is the key, in my view, to global economic stability.
(End of recording.)
10:51 A.M. (Local)

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